God Calling

Friday, September 15, 2000

Genesis 3:9 – But the Lord God called to the man, "Where are you?" (NIV)

On the last weekend of June, I was in front of a ham radio set, listening to the babble of Morse code dots and dashes in my earphones. Each June, amateur radio operators in Canada and the United States stage a disaster-preparedness, weekend-long exercise called "Field Day". The objective is to operate one's ham station away from home and regular power, as one would if one were helping out in an emergency. It's also a radio contest, with stations all over North America trying to contact each other.

Want to listen in? The dial's full of short-wave signals, but one of the most common things you would hear is dah-dit-dah-dit dah-dah-dit-dah. That's the Morse code for the letters "C" and "Q". "CQ" means "calling anyone" ("seek you"). A ham operator, wanting to talk to anyone, sends those letters. They date from the earliest days of radio — crystal sets and spark-gap transmitters. "CQ" has been used by both hams and ship radio operators back before the days of the Titanic.

God is much the same. In today's scripture, creation is just finished — Adam and Eve have no children; and their sin leads them to hide from God. God calls them, seeking His creatures. God calls to us in the glory of creation. In bird song of a dawning day, or in a sunset. God calls to me in a valley afire in fall colours.

God calls again in the Old Testament prophets. God calls again, this time from a burning bush to a shepherd called Moses (Exodus 3:2). God calls to a chosen people (Exodus 19:19).

God calls to a virgin named Mary (Luke 1:28). God had a message for Zechariah, the father of John the Baptist (Luke 1:11-23).

The final message was God's own Son, who became human and walked on this earth. Some people have had trouble receiving the message of God's love and salvation that Jesus brought.

On ham radio, when one is not sure what station one is communicating with, one will hear, in both Morse code and voice, "QRZ?" That means, "What station is calling me?" The caller then takes a minute or two to spell out in a phonetic alphabet his call sign to the station on the other end. "VE3RBC: I spell Victor Echo Three Romeo Bravo Charlie. Do you copy?"

Sometimes God has to fight through the static of our lives to try to talk to us. Sometimes, money and possessions, though they be silent, have a great way of drowning out the "still, small voice" of God (1 Kings 19:12b). Other things interfere with the message of Good News that God is trying to send us. If we have ears inclined to listen, the Holy Spirit will get the message of God's Kingdom, and our place in it, through to us.

Every ham radio operator has an individual radio call sign that is unique in the world. Regardless of whether we have a call sign, each one of us is unique in the world. The world is so good at devaluing us; we find it hard to realize that the love God has for each and every one of us is fathomless.

I enjoy "Field Day". I enjoy the companionship of our radio team. As we operate through the night, it's fun to listen to the stations come in from around North America: California, Alberta, Texas, Utah, and that last fellow had a call sign that started with "VE7" — that's British Columbia. We talk to them and enter them into the contact log. It's also good to know that we have the communications skill to help in an emergency, if we are ever called upon to use them.

But far more important than a fun weekend with radio friends is the eternal communication and companionship that Jesus offers, when we "make contact" with Him, and are in God's logbook, the Book of Life.

Many of my ham friends will put their skills to use for disaster drills and community events. Each of us can be used as one of God's "relay stations" to spread the message of Good News.

Prayer: Dear Lord, you are calling out in love and compassion to each person on this planet. We so need to hear Your word today. Help us, over the noise and busyness of this earth, to hear you loud and clear, each day. Amen.

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About the author:

Bruce M. Dinsmore <dinsmore@pathcom.com>
Toronto, Ontario, Canada

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